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Empire: Total War Heaven » Forums » Empire: Total War - Campaign & General Discussion » Questions Regarding Ottoman Units
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Topic Subject:Questions Regarding Ottoman Units
webstral
Mariner
posted 03-16-12 04:12 PM EDT (US)         
For the first time, I had a look at the Ottoman Empire last night. I studied the units and had some questions I hope other players can answer.

One of the early melee units has a two word moniker that can be abbreviated B-B. This unit is fairly inexpensive and is identified as being an “irregular” type of unit. In the context of a melee unit, what does this mean?

Can the camel gunners dismount? The unit description implies as much, but I’ve never seen the AI dismount these guys against me.

Do the Ottomans have any strike cavalry aside from the lancers that can be recruited by the military academy (I think)? By strike cavalry, I mean cavalry heavy enough to overwhelm an otherwise steady enemy unit with shock power and stay in combat if the initial rush doesn’t work. Regiments of horse fit this description. Lancers tend to have good shock effect, but if the enemy doesn’t rout immediately they are at a disadvantage in close combat. I’m curious to know whether the Ottomans have anything like the European regiments of horse, but I didn’t find any such item during my initial search.

I note that the azzars have a very low reload skill and not a lot of ammunition. Can anyone tell me more about their performance on the battlefield?

I note that the desert warriors have a 5 for ammo. Do they really run out of ammunition after firing 5 shots?

How do the camel units perform outside the areas where they can be recruited?

The musket is for fixing and softening the enemy. The bayonet is for destroying him.
AuthorReplies:
Ecthelion
Mariner
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-17-12 06:53 PM EDT (US)     1 / 4       
Alright, I play as the Ottomans a lot. Not so fun if you do short campaigns, but they're a blast on long ones. Artillery is their biggest asset at the beginning as they get foot batteries at 2nd level foundries (IIRC) and it's all of larger caliber. Their troops are so-so.
Make getting the Nizam-I-Cedit tech and upgraded barracks a priority because they will be your most effective soldiers. You should push to get this tech by around 1720-1730 if you want to stay in the game.
One of the early melee units has a two word moniker that can be abbreviated B-B. This unit is fairly inexpensive and is identified as being an “irregular” type of unit. In the context of a melee unit, what does this mean?
Yeah, bahzouks or something. Totally worthless in combat. They probably get some perks like hiding while walking, or they hide easily, can't remember. But I never use them for anything. I don't recall if they have campaign map perks like paths seldom trod, which could make them an effective and disposable raiding unit. But like I said, utterly useless in combat as they route so easily.
Can the camel gunners dismount?
I don't believe so.
I note that the azzars have a very low reload skill and not a lot of ammunition. Can anyone tell me more about their performance on the battlefield?
Rather unspectacular. If I'm forced to use the early Ottoman irregular units, they are the better choice. Not very good in open combat against anything, but a couple units of them can set up a good ambush. Again, they are disposable.
I note that the desert warriors have a 5 for ammo. Do they really run out of ammunition after firing 5 shots?
Never used them in combat. Good for garrison duty where they can be recruited, but not much else.
Do the Ottomans have any strike cavalry aside from the lancers that can be recruited by the military academy
Pay attention to the small towns in the Balkans. In Bosnia (IIRC) you can recruit a fairly powerful unit of light cavalry from a military governor's house. Other ethnic units like Panders, and Heyduts (both skirmishers) can be recruited in the area. In Anatolia you can recruit Circassian (SP?) heavy cavalry from higher tier buildings.
How do the camel units perform outside the areas where they can be recruited?
My camel units have never performed very well. Camel gunners can be effective if you have the enemy pinned down and you are able to get the CG's around them. They're a little slow, so not too good at attacking artillery.

Going to war early in the game is not a good choice as the Ottomans. Spend more time building your economy. The first nation you should try to destroy ought to be the Barbary States: as a protectorate of your's, they are a huge liability. Cancel your alliance with them and take their land.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
webstral
Mariner
posted 03-18-12 00:38 AM EDT (US)     2 / 4       
Thanks for the info. If I actually play the Ottomans, I'll need this stuff.

I've noticed the poor condition of the Ottoman economy. It seems like 5 years of peace and development would be very welcome. Ditch the Barbary States! Now that's an interesting idea. As Great Britain, I routinely and pre-emptively ditch Austria and Portugal rather than be dragged into wars I can't afford.

I also have noticed that the Ottoman starting ministers border on the useless. The Finance Minister is the worst of the lot, but the rest are far from satisfactory. With repeated sackings of British ministers, I'm able to get a collection that all are +5 or better. Is the same true of the Ottomans?

I'm told that the Austrians demand major concessions in the Balkans in return for peace. What do you think of this? I'm also told that on VH/VH all of the neighbors (Persia, Georgia, Venice, Poland-Lithuania) are inclined towards declaring war very early. What is your experience with this? A look at the Ottoman economy does not suggest that the Ottomans can support powerful forces on all fronts.

I thought I might substiutute the melee Janissaries for impact cavalry early in the game. I migh try fixing the enemy with Isralys line infantry and take the flanking enemy unit in its flank with Janissaries. What do you think?

I'm still struck by the idea of turning on the Barbary States and taking their land. I know I shouldn't like the idea, but I'm attracted to it. North Africa doesn't seem especially rich, but at least Tunis has a multi-slot capitol. I've noticed that there are two villages that could be turned into a school and an entertainment center. Algieria is much closer to the Atlantic transit boxes than Anatolia, too. Does this lead to war with Spain?

Do any of the Ottoman villages have the option of constructing pottery workshops once they become towns?

What do you do with Georgia? It seems to me that Georgia might be more valuable as a trade partner than a captured region, but I'm not sufficiently familiar with the long-term trends in this part of the world. I note that Georgia has some fur. I'm always in favor of having more commodities to trade, and the school would be a welcome addition to the research base.

The musket is for fixing and softening the enemy. The bayonet is for destroying him.
Ecthelion
Mariner
(id: p90pro)
posted 03-19-12 09:48 PM EDT (US)     3 / 4       
I've noticed the poor condition of the Ottoman economy. It seems like 5 years of peace and development would be very welcome. Ditch the Barbary States! Now that's an interesting idea. As Great Britain, I routinely and pre-emptively ditch Austria and Portugal rather than be dragged into wars I can't afford.
Oh, almost forgot the Crimean Khanate. Ditch them too, Russia will conquer them far more quickly then you can hope to send troops to assist.

You can't really afford any war early in the game as the Ottomans. Build your economy first and foremost. Roads and trade routes are a good start since the majority of their industrial buildings and farms are average at best. I just do town by town sweeps across my territry and upgrade whatever building or farm is average or better. Then go back and do the rest.
also have noticed that the Ottoman starting ministers border on the useless.
Yes, they are. Nothing that a few turns of click and drag hiring won't fix. Pay attention to the ministers' traits and put them in the post they are best suited for.
I'm told that the Austrians demand major concessions in the Balkans in return for peace. What do you think of this? I'm also told that on VH/VH all of the neighbors (Persia, Georgia, Venice, Poland-Lithuania) are inclined towards declaring war very early. What is your experience with this? A look at the Ottoman economy does not suggest that the Ottomans can support powerful forces on all fronts.
Trade is a powerful weapon for the Ottomans. Do whatever you can to lower hostilities with Poland and Austria and make peace with Russia. Dropping your protectorates is a start. It takes some deft and persistant diplomacy to establish trade with them, but when you do and it stays up for a number of turns they start to view you more favourably.
Georgia is a bitch and they will declare war no matter what. Just play it smart and build up some forces in the area over a while. Persia isn't really quite a threat (worse early game troops than Ottomans), set up trade and wait until you can conquer them. They ignore me for the most part.
I thought I might substiutute the melee Janissaries for impact cavalry early in the game. I migh try fixing the enemy with Isralys line infantry and take the flanking enemy unit in its flank with Janissaries. What do you think?
Aside from the hand mortar companies, Jannissaries are not much use. The musketeers do not get fire by rank and the cemat (melee) have average morale. Best to stick with cavalry, IMO. In America, the cemat troops are almost all you can get, though.
I'm still struck by the idea of turning on the Barbary States and taking their land. I know I shouldn't like the idea, but I'm attracted to it. North Africa doesn't seem especially rich, but at least Tunis has a multi-slot capitol. I've noticed that there are two villages that could be turned into a school and an entertainment center. Algieria is much closer to the Atlantic transit boxes than Anatolia, too. Does this lead to war with Spain?
If you don't take them, some other country will. You'll have an easier time of it with a similar culture. North Africa is not rich, correct, but it gives you naval bases across the whole Med, and, when your ships are upgraded to sail further, you can go straight to the world transit box by Algeria. It doesn't always lead to war with Spain, but IIRC, Spain and Gibralter are victory territories.
Do any of the Ottoman villages have the option of constructing pottery workshops once they become towns?
There's one or two pottery shops around Egypt or Sinai.
What do you do with Georgia? It seems to me that Georgia might be more valuable as a trade partner than a captured region, but I'm not sufficiently familiar with the long-term trends in this part of the world. I note that Georgia has some fur. I'm always in favor of having more commodities to trade, and the school would be a welcome addition to the research base.
Go for it. They'll declare war on you anyway and that school is an asset not to be dismissed. It's a struggle holding on to it, different culture, unrest from the university, foreign occupation and all.

Sir, I have not yet begun to defile myself.
Swallow my pride? No thank you, Im too full of myself.
I bring you nothing but love and a shopping bag full of sexual depravity.
I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
Tied with Meteora (****er) for Best Sig Award.
Francis Marion
Mariner
posted 06-27-12 11:05 AM EDT (US)     4 / 4       
One of the early melee units has a two word moniker that can be abbreviated B-B. This unit is fairly inexpensive and is identified as being an “irregular” type of unit. In the context of a melee unit, what does this mean?
You must be referring to Bashi-Bahzouks. I agree with Ecthelion's assessment, they are relatively worthless for the most part. The small unit size of 40 men (when using Medium unit size system settings) and their relatively poor melee stats mean that in my experience they will be outmatched by anything other than Armed Citizenry or Firelock Armed Citizenry. Any mob-type garrison units of 80 or more men will prove too much to handle. The irregular classification comes from the fact that they can hide in any type of terrain, including the open plain. They can also hide while walking. This really is the only advantage to having them in an army. The only uses I have identified for them thus far involve pairing them with a unit or two of Azzars to set up ambushes for isolated enemy units, and sending them on backdoor attacks on fortified cities during city assaults. In these instances, I'll send them to an unguarded section of wall near a gate, which they can do without being seen. I then order them to scale the wall and can often sieze control of the gateway, giving me an easy access point for the main body of troops before the enemy can recover and send troops to intervene. I never recruit B-B's, but you start the game with several units of them and your initial recruitment capabilities are very restricted. Until you can widely recruit Cemaat Janissaries, you will be forced to use B-B's to a certain extent, even if only to handle melee duties against Armed Citizenry. In most cases, however, I prefer to replace my early game B-B units with Azzars as soon as I can, since Azzars also hide well in most types of terrain and can hide while walking, but offer the benefits of being not only a ranged unit but an extended range unit to boot.
Can the camel gunners dismount? The unit description implies as much, but I’ve never seen the AI dismount these guys against me.
I cannot confirm or deny this, unfortunately. I have not yet used Camel Gunners in my Ottoman campaigns, as I prefer the speed and versatility of Deli Horsemen. If the Ottomans did not have such early access to extended range units like Azzars or competent missile cavalry like the DH, the range and mobility of the CG's would probably entice me to recruit them. As it is, their high cost and slow battle speed (when compared to true cavalry) haven't tempted me to use CG's in place of Azzars or DH as of yet.
Do the Ottomans have any strike cavalry aside from the lancers that can be recruited by the military academy (I think)? By strike cavalry, I mean cavalry heavy enough to overwhelm an otherwise steady enemy unit with shock power and stay in combat if the initial rush doesn’t work. Regiments of horse fit this description. Lancers tend to have good shock effect, but if the enemy doesn’t rout immediately they are at a disadvantage in close combat. I’m curious to know whether the Ottomans have anything like the European regiments of horse, but I didn’t find any such item during my initial search.
An Ottoman Military Governor's Barracks in any of the Balkan territories or in Moldavia will allow you to recruit Mamelukes. I believe these are still classified as light cavalry, but they have significantly higher attack and defense values when compared to the other light or medium cavalry types available to the Ottomans. I have not yet experimented with them so I cannot report as to their battle effectiveness, but judging by their unit stats, Mamelukes are to Deli Horsemen and Camel Cavalry what European Regiments of Horse are to Provincial Cavalry.
I note that the azzars have a very low reload skill and not a lot of ammunition. Can anyone tell me more about their performance on the battlefield?
Azzars won't blow you away on paper, but I have found them to be more than serviceable in battle. The trick is to use them largely in support roles. While two or more units of Azzars can work together to ambush and whittle down an enemy unit, their best use is to give supplementary fire to enemy units that are already engaged. In defensive battles, I will almost always station them on my flanks. If the enemy attempts to use cavalry to flank me, the azzars can ambush the cavalry and rout them with a single volley in most cases. After this, or if the enemy has no cavalry, I will wait until firefights along the main battle line break out, after which I will order the Azzars to wheel round at right angles to the line and pour fire into the flank or rear of the edge of the enemy battle line. Very effective. The fact that Azzars are available for recruitment by the Ottomans so early compared to the delay other nations experience in obtaining light infantry / skirmisher units means that you will have a range superiority in many battles in the early game.

It is worth mentioning that in Mesopotamia, after building the first level barracks, Kurdish Hillmen become available for recruitment. Kurdish Hillmen are a irregular skirmisher unit similar to Azzars but possess improved accuracy and reload stats. They cannot hide while walking, as can the Azzars, but they possess an accuracy of 50 compared to 30 or 35 for the Azzars. In addition, I believe the reload skill of the Kurdish Hillmen is about 5 points better than the Azzars. These guys make fantastic skirmishers and are every bit as good as standard light infantry with the exception that they cannot deploy stakes or employ the fougasse. Mesopotamia is the only one of your starting regions which has the ability to recruit Kurdish Hillmen.
I note that the desert warriors have a 5 for ammo. Do they really run out of ammunition after firing 5 shots?
To be honest, I have never once recruited a unit of Desert Warriors in any of my Ottoman campaigns. I have always substituted the 100-man mob units for garrison duty as a cheaper alternative. However, experience has taught me that if their ammo value is listed as 5, then they will indeed only have 5 shots available.
How do the camel units perform outside the areas where they can be recruited?
Can't help with this one, as I've never used them outside of the regions where they can be recruited. They possess a "Resistant to heat fatigue" trait which I imagine is only applicable in the Middle East, Africa, and India regions.
I've noticed the poor condition of the Ottoman economy. It seems like 5 years of peace and development would be very welcome.
The economy is extremely under-developed and under-utilized at the start of the game. The Ottomans start with so many regions and so many large cities that are under-developed that it will take many years and lots of cash to bring your infrastructure and governance structures up to par. The key is to invest slowly and frugally, balancing ROI with what you can afford each turn. I've found that the undeveloped mines in the Balkans offer the quickest ROI, followed closely by the base level farms that are not yet built in the Balkans and in Rumelia. In addition, you will want to consider destroying the coffee house in Egypt, the coffee house in the Balkans, the small madrassa in Anatolia, and the small madrassa in Mesopotamia, and replacing them with craft workshops. These buildings are not needed in the regions in which they are built, and replacing them with craft workshops will help get your economy up off the ground.

The Ottomans are also uniquely situated to take early advantage of trade opportunities due to the sheer number of trading ports available. You can pretty much open trade agreements with just about every nation in the game and still have open export lanes. This means that even though you start the game with a small amount of commodities to trade, the extra income gained from trading "other goods" with these nations will grant you an extra 2-3k on your very first turn. I normally target Poland-Lithuania, Great Britain, Spain, the Maratha Confederacy, the Mughal Empire, France, Prussia, Louisiana, and New Spain for trade agreements on turn one. Savoy usually demands far too much in return for trade, so I let them be. Sweden will not have an export lane available for several turns, but when they do you will want to open trade with them as they are already "Friendly" with you. I do not open trade with Persia as I expect to be at war with them within 10-15 turns. Note that you can often get between 100-300 in revenue as a one-time payment from these nations in return for trade. This helps fund your upfront infrastructure costs.
I also have noticed that the Ottoman starting ministers border on the useless. The Finance Minister is the worst of the lot, but the rest are far from satisfactory. With repeated sackings of British ministers, I'm able to get a collection that all are +5 or better. Is the same true of the Ottomans?
You won't find a worse starting cabinet. By re-arranging ministers and by utilizing the candidates who have not yet been assigned a cabinet position, it is possible to drastically improve the cabinet on the very first turn. After that, it is merely a matter of reviewing the new candidates available each turn and upgrading as necessary. I've had a fantastic cabinet within 3-5 turns as the Ottomans before, no worries there. It's just a matter of continuous improvement. Do pay attention and give precedence to candidates who have traits or followers which grant public order bonuses to the lower class; conversely, attempt to eliminate ministers with traits that lower public order for the lower class. For most of the early game you will be fighting lower class public order issues in the Balkans and in other assorted regions due to very high religious unrest.
I'm told that the Austrians demand major concessions in the Balkans in return for peace. What do you think of this? I'm also told that on VH/VH all of the neighbors (Persia, Georgia, Venice, Poland-Lithuania) are inclined towards declaring war very early. What is your experience with this? A look at the Ottoman economy does not suggest that the Ottomans can support powerful forces on all fronts.
You cannot support wars on all fronts early in the game, this much is true. I've found that the best avenue is to pursue peace with Venice, the Italian States, Austria, and Poland-Lithuania until your economy and infrastructure are rolling a good 20-30 turns in. Poland will often accept a trade agreement early on, and you start the game trading with Venice. There are options available for strategic expansion from the very onset of the game, however, which should be doable with standing forces with the addition of some small reinforcements. I make an effort to lay siege to Tbilisi, Georgia within the first 4 turns. Georgia has a very solid region wealth once the school is destroyed (public order requires this after conquering) and a weaver's cottage is built. In addition, if you don't take the initiative you will be fighting costly defensive battles early against significant forces that they will raise. After Georgia, I often target Morocco and the Knights of St. John. Taking Morocco gives you a MUCH closer naval base to the Western trade theatres. Neither Morocco nor the KOSJ possess any allies and are both solid economic regions to add to your tax base. After the time it takes to make these acquisitions, your economy should be developed enough to support significant forces to defend the Balkans should the necessity arise, and to work proactively in the East as you see fit, against Dagestan, Russia, and Persia. In regard to Austria, they are often too busy fighting Poland and Prussia at the onset of the game to meddle much in the Balkans. I've found that you can often trade canister shot or advanced grenades to the Prussians in return for a trade agreement and plug bayonet. This is a win-win, as you pick up a crucial army tech and trade agreement while the Prussians get a leg up on the Austrians in the arms race. This should keep Austria busy until you can support serious forces in the Balkans.
I'm still struck by the idea of turning on the Barbary States and taking their land. I know I shouldn't like the idea, but I'm attracted to it. North Africa doesn't seem especially rich, but at least Tunis has a multi-slot capitol. I've noticed that there are two villages that could be turned into a school and an entertainment center. Algieria is much closer to the Atlantic transit boxes than Anatolia, too. Does this lead to war with Spain?
I don't recommend breaking your alliance and protectorship with the Barbary States and Crimean Khanate upon the start of the game. While it is true that you will be unable to ally with European nations while being allied to the Barbary States, you have trade agreements with both nations and they supply roughly 500/turn to your treasury in return for your status as protector.The Barbary States will keep the European nations from monopolizing the Mediterranean until you are able to do so first, so it is best to let them be in the early game. I always let the Crimean Khanate stand alone against Russia and let the outcome determine my diplomatic stance towards Russia. If Russia takes the Crimea in their first early assault, I will seek peace with Russia and a trade agreement, after which we often get along amiably. If the Crimea resists the first assault by Russia successfully, I will often swing North after taking Georgia and pick up many of the outlying Russian territories, eventually culminating in the sieges of Kiev and Moscow.
Do any of the Ottoman villages have the option of constructing pottery workshops once they become towns?
The only town which I have found to date in the entire game that can construct a pottery workshop is located in Palestine - it is the only village in the region when the campaign begins and will not grow to town status for some time. Strangely, the pottery workshop does not grant any special bonuses or grant extraordinary region wealth.
What do you do with Georgia? It seems to me that Georgia might be more valuable as a trade partner than a captured region, but I'm not sufficiently familiar with the long-term trends in this part of the world. I note that Georgia has some fur. I'm always in favor of having more commodities to trade, and the school would be a welcome addition to the research base.
I thought the same thing during my first Ottoman campaign. However, in my experience Georgia will refuse to trade under all circumstances due to the very high amount of historical grievances between their nation and yours. Check the diplomacy panel to see just how bad it is. In most cases, unless you declare war first, Georgia will declare war on you within the first 10 turns. They often raise a substantial, well-balanced army consisting of Line Infantry, Regiments of Horse, and a unit or two of Pikemen. They can be a royal pain and I've found that the best method is to attack them within the first 3-4 turns before they can raise such a force. Georgia can be a very lucrative territory in the mid game, averaging 3500-4000 region wealth once fully developed.

Hope this helps! A campaign as the Ottomans allows for more diverse outcomes and campaign experiences than any other campaign I have played thus far. Quite challenging but very rewarding as well. My tips are simply what has worked well for me in the past and are in no way the only way to play the campaign.

EDIT: In my Ottoman Campaign last night I had my first opportunity to deploy a regiment of Shaturnal Camel Gunners, in a clash with Persian forces. I found that the Camel Gunners cannot dismount. There is no option to dismount them while in battle as there is for Dragoons. In addition, "can dismount" was not listed as an ability on their unit card. I can only assume that the unit description mentioned it because historically the gunners would dismount in order to engage the enemy, although this doesn't appear to apply to the units in Empire.

[This message has been edited by Francis Marion (edited 07-05-2012 @ 12:05 PM).]

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